Gov. Gretchen Whitmer makes a lot of political sense as a potential running mate for Joe Biden. A new Fox poll shows that sense playing out in numbers.
MICHIGAN — A new Fox News poll shows that former Vice-President Joe Biden opens up a 6-point lead over President Donald Trump in Michigan — if he names the state’s Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer as his running mate.
Trump proved an ability to outperform polls by energizing Americans not considered likely to vote by normal methodology. The stark contrast between polling and actual election results in the 2020 Michigan Democratic Primary, The ‘Gander reported, show that the unreliability in polling data has not been meaningfully addressed. As such, even one point difference could change the ultimate outcome.
Biden needs every advantage he can get in states like Michigan. Especially with the Trump campaign already making massive financial moves in the state. The Hill reports that one pro-Trump took out a colossal $10 million ad-buy with anti-Biden messages in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania.
The ‘Gander explained the advantages Biden gains by tapping Whitmer at length, both from the perspective of an emerging leader amid the novel coronavirus pandemic and from an electoral math perspective.
Biden winning Michigan would dramatically shrink Trump’s avenues to re-election and Whitmer’s handling of the pandemic has earned high approval from her state.
Whitmer’s handling of the pandemic is supported by a majority of Michiganders and she has proven decisive and effective at slowing the spread of the pandemic. With the coronavirus poised to be a major election issue, her emerging status as a regional and even national Democratic leader could add serious heft to Biden’s campaign.
The Fox polling also found that Whitmer handily beats Trump in approval ratings. Some 63% of Michiganders approve of her job performance, while less than half approve of Trump’s.
While a total of 51% disapprove of Trump, only 35% disapprove of Whitmer, meaning Whitmer has a lot more room to sway voters to her side than Trump does in the crucial swing state.
Business Insider notes that the high support for Whitmer comes at the same time as high-profile protests have gripped Lansing. Maintaining high constituent support while under fire from Trump and with national media focusing on protests of her handling of the coronavirus crisis (which, the Detroit News notes is actually rather popular) is a remarkable skill for a potential addition to the Biden ticket.
Biden, who has taken the unorthodox approach of handling the selection process for his running mate very publicly, said Whitmer has been on his list for months.
“She made the list in my mind two months ago,” Biden confirmed on MSNBC, He explained she had gotten her place on the list even before the coronavirus crisis elevated her to a national stage.
For her part, Whitmer says she’s been too focused on the pandemic to give much consideration to her potential position on the Democratic ticket, and is perfectly happy as governor of Michigan, but will support Biden in any way she can, the Hill reports.
That, presumably, includes serving as his Vice President. She has said she’d be willing and honored to serve as Vice President in the past.
“I am honored to be included in a bigger conversation, but that’s not something I’m promoting, that’s not something I’m spending energy on,” she said in an interview with CNN. “We can’t have politics divide us right now. We have to be united against a virus that is indiscriminate.”